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121 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 335928 28-May-2010 20:14
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2lostkiwis: I got tired of the restrictions, so I took my MagicTV apart tonight and mounted the HD on a Linux box.


/dev/sda1               1          51      409657   83  Linux
/dev/sda2              52       60801   487974375   83  Linux

First partition is EXT3 and the second is JFS.
First contains some data files that when zipped up take up 147kB. Looks only to be database files of the recorded programs.
Second contains one directory called ts and it's full of ts files of recorded material.

I was thinking you might be able to get to the root filesystem, but I now believe that to sit in onboard flash on the MagicTV. I was hoping to enable some of the missing features (variable skip time and export) but it will not be so easy.

Still on the plus side, VLC plays the ts files no problem (on a fast enough machine).

I wonder what should the next step be? :-)


I don't suppose you can hack it so that you can easily connect the HDD between your Linux box and the MagicTV? So that you can easily pull the ts files whenever you wish? 

121 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 335929 28-May-2010 20:17
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Gemini: Sounds good and makes their offering more attractive.

Will they keep you up to date with progress?


I will keep up to date with it and keep the forum up to date on anything I find out. 

 
 
 
 


19662 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 335930 28-May-2010 20:20
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Mac2008:

I don't suppose you can hack it so that you can easily connect the HDD between your Linux box and the MagicTV? So that you can easily pull the ts files whenever you wish? 


I havent tried it with sata, but on old IDE it was possible to put a IDE-USB bridge on the same cable as a controller. If the machine was powered off or being reset it was possible to use the USB bridge device to talk to the drive with no problems. We tied the reset line of a PC to something on the USB bridge that went low when it was enumerated (one of the LEDs I think) and had a cable from it that we could use to access the drive in it without it being booted. was part of a messing around with putting different stuff on the PC and we were sick of pulling the drive out and putting it back.

Now, I dont know if that will work on sata since it needs a terminated cable to work and I assume would react badly to a spur off it, but there may be hardware around to switch it or similar that would let you whack an esata socket on the back of it. Must be possible since there are drive cases that offer both esata and also a USB bridge to an internal sata drive, so perhaps start by grabbing the board from one of those and put it inline with the magic tv's sata drive?, should give you a usable USB port that will give access to the drive in there.




Richard rich.ms

121 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 335932 28-May-2010 20:24
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richms:
Mac2008:

I don't suppose you can hack it so that you can easily connect the HDD between your Linux box and the MagicTV? So that you can easily pull the ts files whenever you wish? 


I havent tried it with sata, but on old IDE it was possible to put a IDE-USB bridge on the same cable as a controller. If the machine was powered off or being reset it was possible to use the USB bridge device to talk to the drive with no problems. We tied the reset line of a PC to something on the USB bridge that went low when it was enumerated (one of the LEDs I think) and had a cable from it that we could use to access the drive in it without it being booted. was part of a messing around with putting different stuff on the PC and we were sick of pulling the drive out and putting it back.

Now, I dont know if that will work on sata since it needs a terminated cable to work and I assume would react badly to a spur off it, but there may be hardware around to switch it or similar that would let you whack an esata socket on the back of it. Must be possible since there are drive cases that offer both esata and also a USB bridge to an internal sata drive, so perhaps start by grabbing the board from one of those and put it inline with the magic tv's sata drive?, should give you a usable USB port that will give access to the drive in there.


Wow you are on to something. I hope you can figure something useable, because this would solve a major hurdle for this unit. If you can find a solution like this you could have a small business converting them for non-geeks :-) or at least maybe making an Instructable http://www.instructables.com/

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  Reply # 335944 28-May-2010 20:59
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I would need to buy one of these units first. and with it being winter the supply of spare money is all but dried up till things warm up somewhat.




Richard rich.ms

130 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 336056 29-May-2010 13:46

I just purchased one of these boxes, isn't the remote backlit? i see the LED at the top flash when you use it, but no backlight? is there something needed to turn it on?

 

888 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 336057 29-May-2010 13:48
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The remote has a light sensor in the magic tv logo button and will be backlight when the light levels are low enough. Hope this helps.





26 posts

Geek


  Reply # 336058 29-May-2010 13:51
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2lostkiwis: I got tired of the restrictions, so I took my MagicTV apart tonight and mounted the HD on a Linux box.


/dev/sda1               1          51      409657   83  Linux
/dev/sda2              52       60801   487974375   83  Linux

First partition is EXT3 and the second is JFS.
First contains some data files that when zipped up take up 147kB. Looks only to be database files of the recorded programs.
Second contains one directory called ts and it's full of ts files of recorded material.

I was thinking you might be able to get to the root filesystem, but I now believe that to sit in onboard flash on the MagicTV. I was hoping to enable some of the missing features (variable skip time and export) but it will not be so easy.

Still on the plus side, VLC plays the ts files no problem (on a fast enough machine).

I wonder what should the next step be? :-)


Good to know - can you post some shots, (somewhere else), of some of the circuit boards? I think it's a Sigma 86XX SOC, (system on a chip) like the TViX, TopField and other similar systems. I see the Hong Kong firmware has references to uClibc, and uses a popular toolchain for embedded linux:

/home/alan/smp86xx_toolchain_2.8.0.1_rescue/toolchain_build_mipsel_nofpu/gcc-3.4.2/gcc/libgcc2
/home/alan/smp86xx_toolchain_2.8.0.1_rescue/toolchain_build_mipsel_nofpu/gcc-3.4.2-final/gcc
/home/alan/smp86xx_toolchain_2.8.0.1_rescue/build_mipsel_nofpu/staging_dir/bin-ccache/
/lib/gcc/mipsel-linux-uclibc/3.4.2/

I can't see why something like OpenTvix could be used as a basis once the chipset is known.

cheers,

Tom


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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 336087 29-May-2010 14:58
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As most likely the Box uses GPL software on the Box in part can MagicBox supply this? I asked this a while ago but The Representative on here never answered my question?

I went This with Zinwell for 2 years over this and finally they released the software. I have the source code for the GPL based parts of the Zinwell Units. (But they still are not following the GPL licence correctly)

Thanks

66 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 336107 29-May-2010 16:53
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alitom:
Good to know - can you post some shots, (somewhere else), of some of the circuit boards? I think it's a Sigma 86XX SOC, (system on a chip) like the TViX, TopField and other similar systems. I see the Hong Kong firmware has references to uClibc, and uses a popular toolchain for embedded linux:
/home/alan/smp86xx_toolchain_2.8.0.1_rescue/toolchain_build_mipsel_nofpu/gcc-3.4.2/gcc/libgcc2
/home/alan/smp86xx_toolchain_2.8.0.1_rescue/toolchain_build_mipsel_nofpu/gcc-3.4.2-final/gcc
/home/alan/smp86xx_toolchain_2.8.0.1_rescue/build_mipsel_nofpu/staging_dir/bin-ccache/
/lib/gcc/mipsel-linux-uclibc/3.4.2/
I can't see why something like OpenTvix could be used as a basis once the chipset is known.
cheers,
Tom


Hey Tom,

I took the unit apart again today for a closer look at the board. Took the heatsink off and it's a Sigma SMP8635LF.
Some info here: http://www.sigmadesigns.com/uploads/documents/SMP8630_br.pdf

There is a low quality scan here: http://2lostkiwis.com/magictv/magic_scan.jpg

At the bottom you can see a 10 way header with a no-fit ic. This is an RS232 serial console port. I am trying to find the level translator that is suitable, then you can just attach one of these 10 way IDC to 9pin D connectors to get the console.
The 14 way header near the upper left is I would assume the JTAG debug port.

I lashed up an off board translator and got the following log as the unit booted: http://2lostkiwis.com/magictv/boot.txt

It even gives you a login prompt, but unfortunately I only wired up RX and not TX so could not attempt the login yet.

 

26 posts

Geek


  Reply # 336111 29-May-2010 17:04
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LennonNZ: As most likely the Box uses GPL software on the Box in part can MagicBox supply this? I asked this a while ago but The Representative on here never answered my question?

I went This with Zinwell for 2 years over this and finally they released the software. I have the source code for the GPL based parts of the Zinwell Units. (But they still are not following the GPL licence correctly)

Thanks


Good work - glad you were able to get the GPL code from Zinwell, as some vendors are not very good about this - PixelMagic, who make MagicTV seem to fit into this category.

WesternDigital, Mvix, and Tvix seem to be good examples... it'd be nice if PixelMagic would follow suit.

GPL code is only part of the solution, though there is also the Linux MHEG-5 retriever which would help(?)

Tom

26 posts

Geek


  Reply # 336133 29-May-2010 18:55
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2lostkiwis:

Hey Tom,

I took the unit apart again today for a closer look at the board. Took the heatsink off and it's a Sigma SMP8635LF.
Some info here: http://www.sigmadesigns.com/uploads/documents/SMP8630_br.pdf

There is a low quality scan here: http://2lostkiwis.com/magictv/magic_scan.jpg

At the bottom you can see a 10 way header with a no-fit ic. This is an RS232 serial console port. I am trying to find the level translator that is suitable, then you can just attach one of these 10 way IDC to 9pin D connectors to get the console.
The 14 way header near the upper left is I would assume the JTAG debug port.

I lashed up an off board translator and got the following log as the unit booted: http://2lostkiwis.com/magictv/boot.txt

It even gives you a login prompt, but unfortunately I only wired up RX and not TX so could not attempt the login yet.

 


That's not what I would call low-quality at 3.3mb... it looks good from what I can see.

I don't know where to go from here, (I have some links bookmarked which might help)... you seem to have a good handle on things.

T.

19662 posts

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  Reply # 336150 29-May-2010 22:03
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the cheap nokia cellphone cables are the cheapest source of a 3.3v serial port i know of.




Richard rich.ms

26 posts

Geek


  Reply # 336229 30-May-2010 10:54
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2lostkiwis: Sigma SMP8635LF


Some relevant info might be on the WDTV thread here:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/archive/index.php/t-1100062.html

and their GPL code is here:

http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=1001&sid=112&lang=en

- so in theory? adding media player facilities to the MagicTV shouldn't be impossible.

It would be interesting to see how the circuitry on these two would differ (apart from the inclusion of the dual tuner).

T.

26 posts

Geek


  Reply # 336276 30-May-2010 14:05
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Isn't Macrovision a copy-protection measure? So, this SOC doesn't implement it?

Having a look at util.img with FrHed I see the some kernel details:

kernel_version=2.4.30-tango2-2.8.2.0

There's some linux kernel code here (near the bottom):
http://www.networkedmediatank.com/download/firmware/nmt/gpl/gpl.htm

Linux Journal has some articles on approaches to embedded linux systems, which seem to have been implemented here: http://www.linuxjournal.com/taxonomy/term/27

A posting by BlueButton ref's other devices using the same chipset:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/archive/index.php/t-1100062.html

The firmware file stage2 can be opened with 7zip, to reveal 3 files (which don't mean much to me):

0
1
2

Anyone here know one end of a toolchain from another? Wink

HTH,

T.

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